And no, not in a bad way.
This past weekend was Ravencon 2015 close to my home. This con is near and dear to my heart, as it was because of it that my goals and perspective on my writing life changed.
Stuck in a rut. Haven’t written anything for weeks, and not because I didn’t have time. Think major migraine + achy muscles + searing pain in my heart like someone stabbed me, but ten million times worse. I had never had as much difficulty writing as I had then, and I don’t think I’ve hit a Writer’s Block that hard since. I caught a glimpse of a flyer on a school bulletin board. It talked of authors, artists, and scientists talking during all lunches. Thinking I had nothing to lose, I decided to go, only expecting a few pointless pointers and tips, probably things I already tried.
Boy, was I wrong.
And it was because of one guy.
Tee was a school alum, and came almost every year to promote this “Ravencon” event, whatever that was. As of now, I can’t remember exactly what he said and told me one-on-one, and I don’t even think he remembers. What I do remember is going back to class (late, as I stayed past my lunch to talk to him), opening my notebook, and cranking out what would eventually be recorded on my computer as 1,200 words. In one day. Needless to say, he pulled me out of my rut that day, and that’s when my writing “hobby” became what I eventually wanted to be a writing “career”.
I waited anxiously for Tee to show up and talk to my class that Spring, as he did every year, because that teacher also taught him. Never happened. I even went to Ravencon (my first trip), and couldn’t find him.
No sign of the elusive Morris, at school or con. Seems to have dropped off the radar.
On a suggestion from my coordinator, I reached out to him, in the hopes that I could convince him that we weren’t quarantined and the building was still standing. Imagine my happiness when he replied by telling me that he was coming back for Ravencon in the Spring. I spent the rest of the time until the con working as a go-between for Tee and my school’s library.
The Friday of the con, I spent the entire day in the library with literary masters. Thank you to all my teachers who let me skip class (it was senior teach day, so don’t panic, no one else was in classes either)
And then that weekend, three of my friends and I got to be on a panel, called Voices of Tomorrow. It was pretty much a panel where Young Adults talk about their interests in the literary world. Tee (of course) moderated, and it was my first experience on a panel. You’ll see why that experience *might* help me later.
The next three years (2012, 2013, 2014), I went every year, spending time with Tee, his (now) wife Pip, and so many other writers until my heart exploded.
Ravencon lost a important and loved member of its community. While I never got to meet John, I could see him through those that did. The love and care and compassion, the excitement and laughter and joy, the camaraderie and friendships and relationships. John must have been a pretty amazing guy to have brought all these people together, and a great, fun, wacky group of people to boot. And I saw his spirit in those around me, and I have never felt so close to so many people in such a short amount of time.
Add onto that fun and closeness with me actually *attempting* to be social. I introduced myself to a few people, including the Con Chair. When Tee followed up the introduction, he says, “Yeah, she’s gotta be a guest next year.”
My heart literally stopped.
I mean, he’s mentioned it in the past, but now that I have a physical book, it’s an entire possibility.
AN ENTIRE. POSSIBILITY.
AND THAT’S why I needed panel experience.
While I’m not going to guarantee that will happen, I’m reeeeeeally hoping it might.
Tee, make it happen.
You know, please?? 😀